As a resident of Florida, chances are that Hurricane Irma affected you and your family. The immense hurricane, with extremely forceful winds expanding over 300 miles in diameter (roughly about twice the width of Florida's peninsula), caused a massive evacuation of over half a million people throughout the state. While some residents were lucky enough to make flights out of their local airport to safer territory, the majority of Floridians packed up their cars and took to the roads to evacuate.
Unfortunately, the gridlock traffic and heightened anxiety of drivers led to a number of automobile accidents up and down both coasts. If you were involved in a car accident during Hurricane Irma, it is vital for you to learn the next steps you will need to take, and how to choose the right attorney for your case.
When to Consult an Auto Accident Attorney
If you or anyone else in your vehicle was injured, medical treatment should be sought out immediately, if it hasn't yet been.
Once you have arrived back home after a hurricane evacuation and the chaos has waned, your next step should be determining if you require a car accident lawyer for your case. You should strongly consider contacting a lawyer if:
- You are not sure how to evaluate your claim.
- If you have incurred any type of injury, no matter how small, due to the accident.
- Liability is not clear or is shared between or among the parties.
- You are not confident in your ability to negotiate a settlement on your own behalf.
- The injured party is a minor with significant injuries.
- You have a claim of lost wages that is difficult to prove—for example, you are a salesperson and require your car for travel.
- The circumstances surrounding the accident are complex and may require expert investigation.
- The other party to the accident has served you with a lawsuit.
If you are unsure of whether or not your accident warrants an attorney, you can always call and explain your situation in order to find out if the attorney of your choosing can offer their services to you. This consultation is always free when you contact Weinstein Legal.
Choosing Your Lawyer
If you were involved in an automobile accident during the recent hurricane and require the assistance of a personal injury attorney, there are a few important steps you will need to take prior to choosing an attorney that is right for you.
First, gather the names of qualified lawyers who have handled car accident cases in the past. Be sure to look into their credentials and experience. Inquire if they have dealt with your type of case, and ask them what the results of those cases were.
Second, schedule a meet and greet with the attorney to go over their qualifications and your case more in depth. This is your chance to gather as much information as you can on the fees you will be facing with this particular lawyer, the strategy they have in place for your case, and all other questions you would like answered before making your decision.
Finally, now that you have gathered all the necessary information on the attorney of your choosing, hire the person who you truly believe is the right fit for your case.
Be As Detailed As Possible
Before attending the initial meeting with an attorney, you will need to outline all of the details of your car accident during the hurricane evacuation. The attorney will need as much information as possible in order to evaluate your case properly and come up with an effective strategy.
To be certain you do not leave out any details during the consultation, write down every piece of information which you believe may be helpful in your case, and bring these notes with you to your meeting. The attorney will want to review the following documents if they are available: the driver's exchange of information, a police case report card, images of the vehicles and/or accident scene, witness contact information, and any towing and/or storage records.
Examples of Questions to Ask Your Lawyer
If you were involved in a car accident during the hurricane evacuation, we are sure you have a million different things on your mind. While we understand that this is a stressful time, it is vital to not leave out any details about the accident and ask your lawyer the correct questions so that you both have a clear understanding of the case.
Possible questions to ask your lawyer before beginning work on the case include:
- What is your assessment of my case?
- What factors work in our favor?
- What factors work against us?
- How much is it to hire you as my attorney?
- What is your approach to handling auto accident injury cases?
- What is the likelihood that this case will go to trial?
- How long do you expect it will take to complete this case?
Wait until all of your questions have been answered to your satisfaction before choosing the attorney to represent you in your car accident case.
We understand that the aftermath of a hurricane can be a stressful time, but with the help of experienced Florida car accident lawyers, you can fight to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact professionals you can trust and call Weinstein Legal at 954-845-0505.